Posted on: 23 Jun 2017
The first quarter of 2017 has revealed something that will please those looking for food and drink industry jobs in Scotland – exports rose by more than 11 per cent between January and March compared to the same time in 2016.
Official figures show that total food exports were valued at £371 million (a rise of 14 per cent), Scotch whisky exports were up by £79 million, fish and seafood grew by £38 million, and North America was found to be the second largest export destination, followed by the Asia and Oceania region.
Fergus Ewing, rural economy secretary, commented on the stats, saying: “Scotch whisky and Scottish salmon were the top two UK export products by value in the first quarter of 2017, making up 22 per cent of the value of total food and drink exports from the UK. The prime minister must include the Scottish government at the Brexit negotiating table, with the starting point for any new approach the continued membership of the single market and customs union.”
Scotland Food & Drink’s chief executive James Withers added that Europe remains the biggest market for food exports, so smooth ongoing access is critical to the sector’s success in the future. That said, the industry is also fully committed to extending its reach beyond Europe and growth in Asia and North America is very encouraging at this time.
This comes after a House of Lords report recently suggested that if the UK does leave the EU without a good trade deal in place, up to 97 per cent of food and drink exports would be put at risk.